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Contracts, Poker, and the Fine Print

Watching the World Poker Tour show “Young Guns” it is easy to put yourself in the hip shoes of these young people, all in their early twenties, all professional poker players and making a living playing a game they love. The lure of it is powerful, and the tools are all right there; you don’t even need another person to play with, you can log right onto the Internet and get started practicing on an online poker room. It won’t even cost you anything, as you can play for free at many sites, and even the pay money sites have freerolls and tournaments that run $1 or less to play. The dream of escaping whatever 9 to 5 nightmare you currently have can be strong, but don’t be fooled; there are plenty of pitfalls in the life of a professional poker player, not the least of which is the Fine Print.

Take those tournaments at the online poker rooms, for example. Nothing is more trendy in the poker world today than winning a seat into a major event by winning an online satellite. However, you may be giving up the right to chose your own outfit for the game if you do win. Many poker rooms have Fine Print that says, if you win the all expenses paid trip to compete in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, you have to wear the poker room’s hat and shirt.

Consider another example, this time in a live event. The tournament winner and second place winner wanted to switch prizes, because the first place winner did not want to go on the trip that was his prize. They are still wrestling with the legal mess their bartering landed them in, because they did not read the Fine Print that said, in essence, no switching allowed.

So if you find yourself close to making the leap to professional poker player, or even just taking a stab at winning a seat to the World Series of Poker, keep the Fine Print in mind, and you should do fine.


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